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Page history last edited by Restorative Justice Partnership 8 years, 2 months ago




Restorative Justice

5 R's



Restorative practices recognize that when a wrong occurs, individuals and communities feel violated. It is the damage to these relationships that is primarily important and is the central focus of what restorative practices seek to address. When relationships are strong, people experience more fulfilling lives, and communities become places where we want to live. Relationships may be mended through the willingness to be accountable for one's actions and to make repair of harms done.


Respect is the key ingredient that holds the container for all restorative practices, and it is what keeps the process safe. It is essential that all persons in a restorative process be treated with respect. Every person is expected to show respect for others and for themselves. Restorative processes require deep listening, done in a way that does not presume we know what the speaker is going to say, but that we honor the importance of the other's point of view. Our focus for listening is to understand other people, so, even if we disagree with their thinking, we can be respectful and try hard to comprehend how it seems to them.


For restorative practices to be effective, personal responsibility must be taken. Each person needs to take responsibility for any harm they caused to another, admitting any wrong that was done, even if it was unintentional. Taking responsibility also includes a willingness to give an explanation of the harmful behavior. All persons in the circle are asked to search deeply in their hearts and minds to discover if there is any part of the matter at hand for which they have some responsibility. Everyone needs to be willing to accept responsibility for his or her own behavior.


The restorative approach is to repair the harm that was done to the fullest extent possible, recognizing that harm may extend beyond anyone's capacity for repair. It is this principle that allows us to set aside thoughts of revenge and punishment. Once the persons involved have accepted responsibility for their behavior and they have heard in the restorative process about how others were harmed by their action, they are expected to make repair. It is through taking responsibility for one's own behavior and making repair that persons may regain or strengthen their self-respect and the respect of others.


For the restorative process to be complete, persons who may have felt alienated, must be accepted into the community. Reintegration is realized when all persons have put the hurt behind them and moved into a new role in the community. This new role recognizes their worth and the importance of the new learning that has been accomplished. The person having shown him or herself to be an honorable person through acceptance of responsibility and repair of harm has transformed the hurtful act. At the reintegration point, all parties are back in right relationship with each other and with the community. This reintegration process is the final step in achieving wholeness.




 **Feature article** 

  Multi-Site Assessment by Mark S Umbreit.mht

This 26-page article has a wealth of information and data that is well worth reading.


Welcome to an evolving Restorative Justice Conversation!



The harm we do and the harm we suffer as individuals and as a people generate difficult questions.  The societies and institutions that are created in response to harm shape our todays and our distant days.  They become our answers.  Justice-seeking, as a response to harm, has several guises.  It may be retributive, competitive, distributive, collaborative or restorative.  The clamor is for Justice! yet what one gets may not be what is expected or desired.


Each bias addresses distinctive questions and each is evolving its own sets of answers.  A restorative justice approach ["RJ" is the acronym you'll often see written or hear spoken] asks:

  • Who has been affected by the harm?
  • What needs to be done to repair the harm or to make things as right as possible for all concerned?
  • What can be learned so something like this can be avoided in the future?


Help us explore for answers and the means to put them into practice.

Our youth and their families deserve the best our hearts and minds can offer.

Our communities need justice that is both healing and life-enhancing.


See the sidebar for links to RJ-relevant literature and county-specific resources. Contact this wiki's owner on the link below for more information on editing or content.  Gratitude goes to Trinity Church Justice Fund for its support.


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